With the opioid epidemic becoming even more perverse in communities across the United States, youth are increasingly the unintended victims and prevention is key.
More than 46 people die every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids.
Too many kids never reach their full potential because they experience substance abuse-related trauma, abuse, and neglect within their family or community. These traumatic experiences increase youth risk for substance use and other harmful health behaviors.
Congress must ensure any legislative responses to the opioid epidemic include prevention efforts that target America's youth.
We can break the cycle of addiction through prevention by providing youth-serving organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs with much-needed youth prevention resources. Clubs across the country work to prevent at-risk youth from turning to drugs and alcohol by providing resiliency and risk prevention skills, a safe space to go after school, as well as the support and resources kids need to succeed.
In fact, data from Clubs demonstrates that Club members abstain from alcohol and prescription drugs at a higher rate than their peers. But we must do more to respond to this ever-growing crisis.
Tell lawmakers to step up and ensure youth-focused prevention efforts are a part of any response to the opioid crisis.
Our kids' futures depend on it.